Green City

Sprawl: Not Working Out

By Jason Leach
Published April 27, 2005

A recent news story in the Christian Science Monitor sheds some light on the slowly-growing practice of "green" construction.

Focused in the U.S. Northwest, specifically Portland, Oregon, the article gives us a glimpse into the lives of young professionals moving to that city with a desire to make as little an impact as possible on the earth.

Our impact is also referred to as our "footprint". In Hamilton, most residents are leaving a huge footprint - especially in the new suburbs with their McMansions, drive-thrus, and complete inability even to walk or cycle to a corner store.

In fact, many southern Ontario residents add to the size of their ecological footprint even when going out to exercise. Stop and think of the logic here. We get in our cars and drive to a gym to try and stay in shape - a gym that is using a tonne of energy on heating, cooling, and running all the machines and TVs - then we get back in our cars and go home to watch TV.

Athletic clubs are a multi-million dollar industry in our society, due to the poor design of suburban neighbourhoods and our compete dependence on our cars.

Stop and think about your lifestyle for a moment. Then compare it to the young couple highlighted in this article. It seems the "American Dream" isnt so dreamy after all.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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